5 Things to Know About 4×4 Diesel Exhaust Systems

Car mechanic illuminated by work lights while repairing a vehicle in a workshop

When it comes to 4×4 vehicles, we here at Sandgate Auto Electrics have seen it all. We have many clients who are curious about ways to upgrade and modify their vehicles to get the most out of them on the road while staving off any potential problems.

Standard 4×4 exhaust systems are often very restrictive to the performance of your vehicle. This is why we receive so many queries about upgrading; there is much to gain by installing a high-quality performance exhaust system. While increasing power, you will also experience greater fuel economy.

The main things people are looking for from their diesel exhaust systems are efficiency, increased torque and pulling power. You can delve a lot deeper into potential upgrades, however, so we decided to put together this piece based around the five things you should know about 4×4 diesel exhaust systems.

1. It would help if you had a snorkel

As we all know, our 4×4 vehicles can be put through the wringer, so we need to do our best to take care of their components to ensure they survive whatever hell we are going to drag them through! One of the best things you can do for your engine is making sure there are no issues with air flow. Stale air can cause problems, especially if your 4×4 is a diesel.

Stale air leads to a build-up of residue from burnt fuel and oils, and this can result in engine problems while chewing up your fuel. To make sure this doesn’t become a problem, you need a snorkel. The snorkel helps clean air to flow into the engine and out of the car. A high-quality snorkel pulls the clean air from the roofline into the engine. To really ensure this process does the trick, an aftermarket large diameter exhaust will help get this air back out.

All of this means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard which leads to better fuel economy and longer engine life.

Vehicle receiving service inside a well-equipped garage.
2. Noise doesn’t equal performance

There is this strange misconception that the louder your aftermarket exhaust is, the better it performs. This is not the case however, loud exhausts are just for show and in some case can actually be bad for your vehicle. Good quality exhaust systems don’t necessarily make things louder, rather change the tone of the sound that your exhaust makes.

The reason for this is the larger diameter of the exhaust system creating a deeper sound. When you combine one of these large exhausts with a high flow muffler and catalytic converters, you will be looking at a setup that provides optimal performance and better fuel economy, and when you are taking long trips across the country, this will be of far more benefit than something that sounds like a beast.

Car mechanic troubleshooting a car issue beneath the open hood in a professional repair shop.
3. Size matters

Let’s say for example you were to increase the size of your diesel exhaust system to add 3” diameters from the turbo, right back to the end of the car, you would be avoiding unwanted turbo back pressure and improving the efficiency of your engine. When back pressure is decreased, you get higher power, reduced turbo lag, and improved fuel economy. You should also notice a lower exhaust gas temperature. You will likely notice the benefits of this most when the engine needs to work a lot harder, often while towing or driving up steep inclines.

Factory mufflers often limit pressure from the engine, something you will notice, or more specifically hear, when towing. The increased diameter of a good quality system removes this problem.

Mechanics working on different parts of multiple cars in a garage
4. You can often DIY the installation (if you know a bit about it)

Most exhausts come with everything you need to install them, including such a catalytic converter, vortex muffler, and ceramic coated dump pipe. They will often use the factory mounts of your vehicle, but if you are slightly unsure, it’s best to let the professionals at Sandgate Auto Electrics handle the installation for you.

We must stress, while there is plenty of instruction on how to DIY an installation online, and all of the parts are given, there is still a level of expertise that is expected and if in any doubt, for your own safety, let the job be handled by a professional.

Car undergoing inspection in a workshop setting.
5. There will be different options for materials

Most exhausts are mandrel bent but price is often a good representation of quality, and if you are upgrading, you don’t want to install something that won’t perform. For example, mild steel, press-bent pipe is more cost-efficient for manufacturers to build than larger diameter mandrel bent stainless steel. You can’t go wrong with a quality Australian made system in one of the following options:

  • Full aluminised mild steel for predominantly bitumen driving.
  • Aluminised mild steel exhaust system for coastal trips.
  • Full grade stainless steel system for off-road and beach use and best for towing.

Stainless Steel provides longevity and corrosion prevention and is a great option considering the corrosive environments in which you will likely be driving.

Car being worked on a vehicle inside the car, inside a workshop or garage more alt text
Sandgate Auto Electrics are experts in diesel exhaust systems

The experts in diesel exhaust systems, or any other exhausts, are unquestionably the helpful staff at Sandgate Auto Electrics. We are 4×4 experts and have seen a range of makes and models come through our doors in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, South East Queensland and surrounding areas. We have after all been doing this since 1973!

A lot has changed in that time and we make it our mission to keep updated on the latest accessories and technological developments in the 4×4 world. We consider ourselves experts in a large range of vehicles and accessories including motorbikes, marine and RV’s and we can handle the most technical of diagnostics solving any problem small or large.

For repair, service or advice for any problem our facilities and equipment, are the highest standard around. Speak to us today about modifications, repairs, upgrades or anything else you may be considering for your 4×4. Let our knowledge and expertise be at your disposal and be well-prepared for whatever trek you are planning next!